Hello everybody! It's 8DemigodRunner8, and I've finally published the next chapter!
I am so sorry it took this long; it's been...over a month? Wow, I may be just as bad as a certain author that leaves his readers on a cliffhanger for an entire year... Anyways, I hope you all enjoy the finale of Ordoa's Arena!
Disclaimer: I do not own Percy Jackson and the Olympians/Heroes of Olympus
Thank the gods that the Argo II had shown up. Percy had known that he wouldn't be able to avoid Ordoa's pursuit for too long- though Hazel's tricks were pretty effective. Even so, two demigods wouldn't be able to last long against a goddess as crazy and unruly as Ordoa.
A shout from the field below brought Percy out of his thoughts.
"You insufferable fools! You worthless pieces of Pegasus dung! You dare have the brashness to destroy a goddess' temple?"
"Usually, no," a blonde-haired demigod replied from the decks of the Argo II, leaning over the edge as if he had no fear of heights whatsoever. "But for you, we can make an exception."
Jason lifted his hand, and Ordoa moved with it. Percy guessed that Jason was using the wind to pick her up, and the goddess was still in too much shock to do anything about it.
"We're here to pick up our friends," he informed her, hanging Ordoa upside down in the air, close enough to him so that he could look her in the eyes. Her brown braid hung down beneath her head and her amber eyes were filled with an unnerving amount of rage.
"No! They're mine now!" she screamed, thrashing about uselessly and almost slapping Jason in the face.
"Oh, I wasn't asking." With that, Jason flicked his hand, sending her soaring into the rubble of her own temple wall. The Roman goddess skidded along the rocks, kicking up even more dust and no doubt earning herself a few scratches along the way. When she stood up in between two large chunks of tower, golden ichor could be seen dripping down her legs and arms, staining parts of her dusty white dress. Her braid had become so messed up that it was barely holding itself together, and the red ribbon that had been entwined in it was gone.
"Captivique et occidunt alia notam!" Ordoa screeched, pointing at Percy and Hazel, who were both standing at the railing of the balcony and reaching for a ladder their friends had hung down. Even from his short time in Camp Jupiter, Percy could tell what she had just said in Latin: "Brand the prisoners and kill the others!" Not good.
Apparantly Hazel had understood the goddess' words as well; she immediately began to frantically try and grab the ladder's first rung. From both sides of the walkway, dozens of nymphs dressed in battle armor came storming at the two escapees.
"We need to leave, like, right now," Percy told Hazel nervously.
"Don't you think I know that?" she snapped back in the heat of the moment, finally getting her hands on the ladder. She swiftly hauled herself up, climbing like a monkey to the top. Percy followed behind her, grabbing the rungs and pulling his feet up and on to the first step.
Not a second afterwards did he feel a clammy hand gripping his ankle with alarming ferocity.
"Gah!" he yelped as he was yanked right off the ladder, getting a small rope burn on his hands, and dropping back down on to the landing.
"Percy!" Hazel called out, beginning to climb back down the swaying ladder.
"No, keep going up!" Percy replied, getting to his feet and instinctively slicing the nymph that'd grabbed him in half. His sea-green eyes widened when he realized what he'd done. He'd just killed an innocent nymph rather than the usual monster.
Hazel was just as stunned, but she knew there was nothing to be done about it now. "Percy!" she yelled down whilst she continued climbing. "Don't go anywhere! I'll be right back!"
"I don't really have a choice," he mumbled under his breath, backing up against the unstable railing of the tower as dozens of armed nymphs closed in on him.
It was then, looking through the slits in the sea of shining metal helmets, that Percy realized what he had to do. Though no pair of those countless eyes were exactly the same, whether it be by color or shape, they all had one aspect in common- they were all full of terror. None of those nymphs wanted to kill him. In fact, he could tell that they didn't even want to fight. The only reason they'd encircled the demigod was because if they didn't, Ordoa would end their lives. They were the ones with no choice.
By now, Percy was able to spot the many telltale signs of fear running through the army; their shaky knees, sweaty hands, and fidgety motions all pointed to their obvious terror. Nymphs had never the fighting type; the most action Percy had ever seen a nymph perform was weave underwater baskets or put out a fire in his or her branches.
Clearing his throat, Percy began to address the nymphs in an attempt to still their nerves. "Look, we are not here to harm you. We want to escape this prison, just like you. We're actually planning on setting you-"
"DUCK!" someone shouted from the decks of the Argo II, cutting off Percy's speech, and Percy recognized the voice as Frank's. Hazel must've gotten him to help, Percy thought, and suddenly it settled in why she had done so.
Percy had just screamed "Wait!" when Frank let loose an arrow that he'd had notched at a nymph. As the weapon came hurtling towards a chink in the nymph's armor, Percy's sword arm lashed out, metal clanging on metal as he knocked the arrow straight out of the air.
Thank the gods for ADHD, Percy thought to him self with a sigh of relief; without his quick battle reflexes, that nymph would've died.
"What are you doing?" Frank called down to his friend, incredulous. "They're the bad guys!"
"Trust me, they can help us!" Percy replied before turning to face the nymph he'd just saved. He'd barely any time to look at her before she pulled him into a tight hug.
"Thank you," she whispered, and Percy couldn't help but blush. Even through her armor Percy could smell vanilla, which he guessed was the plant she came from.
"Uh, you're welcome," he responded awkwardly before pulling himself free of the hug. "Back to what I was saying. My friends and I want to save you; we'll bring you with us and set you free. However, to get out of here we need you all to trust us and fight on our side. Will you guys do that for us?"
He was met with a roar of voices all shouting in agreement, swords hefted above their heads in their newfound excitement.
Smiling, Percy continued. "Great! Now, all of you climb the ladder behind me, okay? We need to board as quick as we can." The son of Poseidon leapt on to the rope ladder, and up he climbed, closely followed by the nymph army. It felt just like he was leading the demigod army against Kronos again, and somehow that feeling managed to calm Percy, clear his head of all distracting thoughts. He was in battle mode. Last time, Percy had lost soldiers in the war; this time, he'd make it out with everyone alive. He had to.
Once he'd reached the top rung, Percy flung himself over the railing just to receive his second hug for the day, this time by Frank.
"Mars Almighty, you're alive!" he exclaimed, pulling away with a huge grin. "Piper, Leo, Coach Hedge, and I had woken up to find practically everyone missing! That's when Nico appeared and told us to find this tower, and-"
"That's great, Frank," Percy interrupted, "I'm really glad you found Hazel and I. Right now, though, we need to get out of here."
"Right." The son of Mars nodded, and together they stepped out of the way of the oncoming nymph traffic.
"We found you!"
"How'd ya get tangled up in this mess, cupcake?"
Various shouts greeted Percy aboard the Argo II, and Percy happily received them all with a big grin. He saw Piper, Leo, Coach, Jason, Nico…and then his smile faded when he remembered that Annabeth wasn't there. Percy already felt horrible for leaving her alone, though to be honest it had been involuntary, and now he finally noticed that he had no way of getting back to her. Uh oh, he thought worriedly. How far away were they from Rome? Was Arachne's entrance still open after the roof collapsed? Probably not, Percy thought bitterly. That left him with one option, and it'd be difficult to do.
Suddenly, an earth-shakingly powerful roar echoed throughout the temple, and to the ship's right a giant figure began to rise. Ordoa had grown to the size of a tall building, and the hatred in her eyes was now completely visible in her two large amber irises.
"PERSEUS JACKSON AND HAZEL LEVESQUE ARE MINE! REVEAL YOURSELVES OR ELSE YOU AND YOUR FRIENDS WILL SUFFER MY WRATH! YOU TOOK MY PRISONERS, SO I WILL TAKE YOUR LIVES!"
Leo whistled before saying, "That sounds pretty serious. What do you guys think? Should we stay or get the Hades out of here?"
"Let's get the Hades out," Nico responded, and everyone scrambled to get the ship in motion. The Argo II turned itself away from the enraged goddess, and as soon as it began its descent, Ordoa screamed and smacked the entire ship with her over-sized hand, sending it lurching to the left. Screams erupted from the ship as the nymphs and demigods began to slide.
"Help!" Hazel yelped as she slid down the polished wooden deck and neared the nearly-horizontal railing.
"Hazel!" Frank called out before transforming into an eagle and swooping down to save his girlfriend. Percy managed to grab hold of one of the sail's loose ropes before he could plummet to the hard ground below. Piper was sliding past him, and the son of Poseidon reached out and grabbed her hand, holding her as tightly as he could. The ship had been tipped fully on to its side, and it was only thanks to Leo's expert captaining that it didn't flip all the way over and sail into the wall.
"You wanna play rough, huh?" Leo yelled at Ordoa, grunting as he turned the wheel to the right. "Lets play rough!" As soon as the Argo II righted itself, Leo fired the ballistae at Ordoa's body, the booms sounding even louder inside the toppling tower. The goddess slapped the fireballs away, though she missed one and it left a burn mark on her thigh. Growling with anger, the goddess thrust her hand out on to the deck of the Argo II, desperately trying to snatch up the demigods.
Percy saw this as his golden opportunity; letting go of Piper's hand now that she was safe, he charged at the enlarged hand with a defiant scream, Riptide at the ready. Instead of stabbing the goddess, he jumped up and over her thumb, landing on the top of the hand. This caught Ordoa by surprise, and she pulled her hand backwards towards her body, trying to shake Percy off. The half-blood refused to fall, and instead he climbed up her arm and shoulder like a bug, scurrying as fast as he could out of her reach. Once he'd reached the top, Percy grabbed a brown strand of hair and held on to it for dear life, swinging off her shoulder and back on as she turned her head, trying to look at him.
"What are you doing?" she asked in her booming voice, frustration taking hold and leading her to try and swat Percy away.
"You didn't want to let us go without seeing a fight, so here's your fight!" Percy slashed his celestial bronze sword at her shoulder, then her neck. He made little more than cuts, but it was definitely annoying her. Jason and Frank, still in eagle form, launched themselves from the Argo II to join the fight, each carrying their girlfriend. Jason left Piper on top of Ordoa's head, where she started slicing at the goddess' scalp and giving her an unwanted hair cut.
Hazel was placed on the shoulder opposite of Percy, where she too grabbed a hair for balance and starting fighting. Jason and Frank continued to make trips between the goddess and the boat, transporting both demigods and nymphs now.
Individually, the demigods weren't doing too much damage, but as a whole they were beginning to overwhelm Ordoa. She slapped and stomped and brushed the half-bloods and nymphs off like pests, but more and more from the army replaced them. Anyone who fell was either caught by Frank or Jason or were intercepted by Leo and the Argo II. Percy felt like they were in the lead, that they could win this, that Ordoa was getting worn down, that….
Ordoa's hand came flying up towards Percy, and she grasped him firmly in her fist while bringing him into her vision. Percy was forced to stare straight into her enlarged, fierce amber eyes.
"You…are a despicable demigod. Your father…would not be proud."
"I beg to differ." Percy jabbed Riptide into her palm, and he took a flying leap off of her hand and on to her face, landing on the bridge of her nose. Raising Riptide high overhead, he slammed the butt of it down on to it, causing her to scream and bring her hand speeding to her face to grab her injured nose. Percy had forgotten about the reaction of his action, so he was smacked like a fly with a fly swatter, and he fell towards the ground dozens of feet down. His head felt woozy from being banged against Ordoa's head, and his eyesight was swimming, making the fall even more dizzying.
Suddenly, he felt talons grip his shirt, and he was hoisted back up into the air by a giant eagle.
"Frank," Percy smiled as he was set onto the deck of the Argo II. Frank changed briefly back into a human to ask, "Are you okay?"
"Fine, fine," Percy mumbled, rubbing his forehead. From the ship he could see all the damage being done to the goddess. Ichor was dripping down her legs and arms, her toga was stained gold in some places, and her head looked like Phineas had taken his chainsaw and given her a haircut. It was enough to make Percy almost feel bad for her…almost. He reminded himself that this was the woman who'd enslaved dozens of nymphs, made friends fight to the death, and separated him from Annabeth in her time of need. Besides, she was a goddess, and unfortunately she'd heal from this battle. At this point, Percy couldn't care less how angry and upset they were making her. She'd brought it on herself.
On the field below, four nymphs had found a long rope and had stretched it out behind Ordoa's feet. As the goddess tried to take a step back, she was tripped and fell with a boom to the rubble below.
A cheer went up from the army, and everyone took that as their sign to retreat. That's my cue, Percy thought to himself, and he turned to Frank and asked, "Hey, could you fly me down there real quick. I need to ask Ordoa something."
Frank gave him a strange look but did as he asked, turning back into the large bird and brought Percy so that he stood on her bruised shoulder once more. Percy said thanks and watched him fly off to carry the others back to the ship, loading all the now-free nymphs on their ship to freedom. Percy then turned to look at Ordoa's embarrassed and outraged face, a stream of ichor running down from her forehead and nose. He headed over to her ear, where he stood on his tiptoes to talk to her where she could hear him.
"Listen. We won- no tricks, no cheating, nothing. You said that you'd send us back if we won, and I'm holding you to that promise. The rest of my friends will be good with simply leaving on the Argo II with the nymphs, but I have a special request."
"You dare ask me for a favor? Especially now, after all you've done?" she yelled.
"It's simple, trust me. In fact, you might even enjoy it. I need you to send me to Tartarus."
Ordoa threw her head back and laughed, knocking Percy momentarily off balance. "You want me to send you where?"
"Tartarus. My girlfriend is down there right now, and I need to help her. Please, just send me down to her, like how you were able to send Tyson to Camp Half-Blood."
Ordoa paused, thinking about Percy's offer. The son of Poseidon had made sure to tell Nico his plan beforehand, at the same time he'd told him to bring help once he'd arrived back on the Argo II. He knew that the son of Hades would understand and wouldn't try and stop him, and at least the kid could get the rest of the demigods to leave while they had the chance. He'd known that if he'd told anyone else on the Argo II, they'd try and stop him; Percy couldn't have that, and he knew that Annabeth needed him as soon as possible.
Ordoa still hadn't responded, so Percy added on to his offer.
"If you do, I promise I won't tell anyone about how much we humiliated you and how you were defeated by a few demigods and some wimpy nymphs..."
"Deal," Ordoa growled as soon as the words had left Percy's mouth, and she picked him up and brought Percy to where she could see him. "And if I ever hear a word about this…defeat...from the Olympians, I swear…"
Percy held his hand up sincerely. "I won't tell. I swear on the River Styx." Thunder boomed overhead to confirm his promise.
Ordoa smiled briefly as she waved her hand over Percy's head, already darkening the world in his eyes as the transportation began. "It was a good competition, and I always do have respect for good competitors," she mused. The goddess paused before reluctantly saying, "Good luck in Tartarus. You'll need it."
And with that, the world went black.
Thank you to everyone who waited patiently for me to post this chapter, as well as all the other ones that took me a long time to do. I hope you all enjoyed the story, and even though it is now complete, advice constructive criticism is always welcome for future chapters on other stories I write. One can never stop improving.
Thank you to Olympus97, 123mo, FangirlingTooHard, pjofan101, AnnabethWeasley22, and Puckabrina Percabeth Rules for the follows and thank you to ElementalEvolution for the favorite!
Guest: Wow, thank you so much! I'm so glad that you enjoyed it as much as you did, and your review was so kind and put a smile on my face :) .
ElementalEvolution: Thank you! I hope you enjoyed the finale!
8EternallyMortal8: Percy and Annabeth will be reunited- finally!
FangirlingTooHard: Thank you! No, at the time I had not read the House of Hades, but I have now (so good!)
Puckabrina Percabeth Rules: Woohoo, go Leo!
PercyJacksonFan: Thanks! Sorry for the delay, but I hope you liked this chapter!
Again, thank you to everyone for all your support throughout this story! I really appreciated all of it, and I'm so glad so many of you liked this story!